In today's main Gamasutra feature, Holger Gruen describes his experience working in the VizSim industry developing tank simulators for the military, and compares the similarities and differences between the simulation industry and video games, in this fascinating comparative piece.
Here, Holger describes the asset creation differences, and resulting attitudinal shifts, that he experienced in the VizSim business:
"As mentioned above, levels are called databases and are very big compared to most game worlds. In the VizSim industry the process to create databases and models like tanks, houses, vehicles and even human characters is more an engineering process than the creation of art. Textures are always scanned in. Models are built to match the dimensions of the original.
Database creation is extremely expensive and the outcome can't compare to game assets. This is why most simulators don't look as good as games. You still see simulators with shoebox houses. The VizSim industry has so far not realized that it would need some paradigm shift to also embrace database creation as a process of creating art to achieve the quality of game assets. Game developers seem to be more personally involved with what they work on, whereas VizSim people just seem to do a job."
You can read the full Gamasutra feature
on the subject, including more information on the similarities and differences between the businesses (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).